Battle of Pelee Island

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Battle of Pelee Island
Part of the Upper Canada Rebellion
Date March 3, 1838
Location Pelee Island, Upper Canada
Result Decisive Government victory
Hunters' Lodges
United Kingdom United Kingdom
United Kingdom Upper Canada
Commanders and leaders
Lester Hoadley † United Kingdom Captain George Browne
300 126
Casualties and losses
14 killed;
18 wounded;
11 captured[1]
5 killed;
25 wounded[1]

The Battle of Pelee Island took place during the Patriot War along what is now the Michigan-Ontario border in 1838 involving small groups of men on each side of the border seeking to "liberate" Upper Canada from the British.


On February 26, 1838 the frozen ice of Lake Erie allowed 300 Canadian and American Patriots under the command of Major Lester Hoadley to take Pelee Island at the western end of the lake. This prompted British Colonel John Maitland to send a force to recapture the island and secure it from further attack. Maitland sent Major George Browne with 126 men, comprising two companies of the British 32nd Regiment and a detachment of the Canadian St. Thomas Volunteer Cavalry to cut off the invaders.[2]


On March 3, 1838, Browne's force intercepted the Hunter Patriots on the ice off the south western shore of the island and defeated them in a sharp fight. The British and Canadian casualties were 5 killed (4 from the 32nd Regiment and 1 Canadian cavalryman) and 25 wounded.[1] On the Patriot side, Hoadley, his second-in-command, Captain Van Rensselaer, and 11 rank and file were killed by enemy fire, in addition to 1 man who drowned when he fell through the ice. 18 Patriots were wounded and a further 11 were captured, some of whom were also badly wounded.[1]


  • Guillet, Edwin C. (1938). The Lives and Times of the Patriots: An Account of the Rebellion in Upper Canada, 1837-1838, and the Patriot Agitation in the United States, 1837-1842. Toronto: Thomas Nelson & Sons, Limited. 
  • Mann, Michael (1986). A Particular Duty: The Canadian Rebellions, 1837-1839. Salisbury: Michael Russell (Publishing) Ltd. ISBN 0-85955-136-9. 
  • Graves, Donald (2001). Guns Across the River:The Battle of the Windmill, 1838. Toronto: The Friends of Windmill Point. ISBN 1-896941-21-4. 
  1. ^ a b c d Guillet, pp. 101-102
  2. ^ Mann, p. 76

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°46′00″N 82°38′27″W / 41.7667°N 82.6409°W / 41.7667; -82.6409